Food & Drink

Death & Co

Published On 01/08/2007 Published On 01/08/2007

Having a friendly, laid-back spot for classic cocktailing is every American's right -- but just like your right to gamble while heavily medicated, this one's often trampled on by ineptitude and greed. Here to secure your libational liberties: just-opened Death & Co.

D&C's a high-end, dimly lit sanctuary for both the casual and professional boozist. Despite having limited frills, the Prohibition-y bar's reeled in talent from Pegu, Flatiron Lounge, Mas, and Stanton Social -- a Top Gun class of 'tenders, with no scowling "Jester" to stop them from giving your tower a buzz. The hooch itself displays both quality and depth (e.g., three varieties of Barbancourt rum, as opposed to the typical none). The drinks are outstanding, but prices are a notch below comparable establishments' -- and the martinis/Manhattans come with an iced-down "dividend", yielding you a bullish 170% return on your investment. As for food, the small plates are designed to interrupt drinking minimally, like truffled mac & cheese that actually comes pre-scooped onto six fat spoons -- basically, things could only be easier if your waitress chewed and yacked it into your cheeping beak.

The only drawback is, D&C's miniscule, so despite having no door policy, getting in can be a mild bitch (but once you do, there are no annoying Milk and Honey-like "rules"). Reservations'll be taken for early hours only (6-10pm); after that it's first-come, first-served, but if they're full you can leave your name and they'll ring your cell when a space opens up. Meanwhile, you can wait at the nearby Cherry Tavern -- sucking down that bar's venerable Tecate/Tequila special 'til not even Death enjoys your company.

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1. Death & Company 433 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009 (East Village)

Death & Co. is a high-end, dimly lit sanctuary for both the casual AND professional mixologist/cocktail enthusiast. Responsible for launching the careers of many of New York's most prominent bartenders, this speakeasy has produced a 500-recipe cocktail book and enough top-notch drinks to keep both locals and newcomers ready for the wait, and insatiably eager for another visit. Martinis are served in 5oz glasses with the remainder in an iced carafe, and Old Fashioneds are reinvented with reposado tequila, mezcal, and a flaming orange. While the decor is certainly reminiscent of Prohibition-era times, the drinks remain cutting-edge.

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